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Hello everyone!
 
Just thought I'd jump in and ask if there is anybody out there looking at
or involved with "community network" types things in the UK?  I've been
thinking about a community network for the Bradford area in the UK, and
would be interested in exchanging information with anyone doing something
similar in the UK, or elsewhere in Europe.
 
The "information superhighway" metaphor has now been taken up by the
European Union, with its Bangemann Report, and the UK government (which
has just established a WWW server - rather sparse, but a step in the right
direction). There is obviously a lot to be learnt from the US experience
of setting up and running community networks, but on the other hand, the
UK and Europe do have some important differences (more expensive
telecommunications costs, for instance, and less cable TV penetration).
 
I don't believe there are any "Free-Nets" in the UK, nor any "public
access" city networks comparable to the ones in Santa Monica or
Wellington. However, there are some community networking projects in the
UK, such as:
 
  * South Bristol Learning Network
  * "Manchester Host" (also Barnsley Host, somewhere-in-London Host)
  * Kington "Connection Community"
  * "Telecottages" (er, maybe)
 
and a number of councils are experimenting with the Internet, such as
Brent, Grampian Regional Council and Runnymede.
 
If you are in the UK or Europe and are involved with this sort of thing,
please get in touch! Thanks.
 
Paul
--
Paul Sutton                 University of Bradford, Bradford, UK
[log in to unmask]   Tel +44.1274.383319 Fax +44.1274.304354